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Government abolishes public sector pay cap

14 Septembre 2017

Prison officers will receive an average pay increase of 1.7 percent in 2017/18, while police will receive a 1 percent increase to their basic pay, plus a one-off additional increase of 1 percent for 2017/2018.

"Ministers are continuing to hold pay down, leaving professionals over £3,000 a year worse off".

A final announcement on next year's pay deals will be made in the Budget in November.

Public sector salaries were frozen for two years in 2010 for those earning in excess of £21,000 a year, before being capped below the national rate of inflation; however, ministers are said to be prepared to accept recommendations for bigger pay rises after the proposed changes received backing from trade unions, the opposition, and several Tory party members. "There are no deserving or undeserving public sector workers", he said.

"With inflation on the rise, the cap must go for everyone and it must go now".

Four unions tabled motions to this week's Trades Union Congress in Brighton calling for some kind of nationally coordinated action, which were then included in a composite motion.

The jump in retail price inflation to 2.9 per cent last month has come at a hard, sensitive time.

The POA prison officers' union said it was seeking industrial action over an offer which it said effectively amounted to a pay cut and would leave a majority of staff with rises of just 1.3%.

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Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss said review bodies and departments were being given greater leeway to use pay to address "pinch points" within public sector staffing.

Meanwhile, police chiefs warned that the pay award would put financial pressure on forces' already-stretched budgets and could impact on their ability to deliver services and avoid job cuts.

Coun Ed Malcolm, lead member for resources and innovation at South Tyneside Council, said the authority wants to see fair pay for staff and agrees pay caps are unfair, but he said it will need extra funding to meet any wage rises.

Labour has already committed its support for an end to the pay cap and Jeremy Corbyn is expected to voice his support for union action to lift the restriction when he appears before the congress on Tuesday.

"What we are making sure is that we look at it on a workforce-by-workforce basis because there are very different issues for teachers than for nurses and for police officers".

The spokesman said: "Cabinet agreed that public sector workers are among the most talented and hard-working people in our society".

"Government will continue to ensure that the overall package for public sector workers recognises the vital contribution they make and ensures we can deliver world-class public services, while also being affordable within the public finances and fair to taxpayers". "They, like everyone else, deserve to have fulfilling jobs that are properly rewarded".

Government abolishes public sector pay cap